The lawn is a gift of the English garden tradition from the eighteenth century. Early…
Since the seed companies and nurseries of the nineteenth century were first and foremost a business, it was important to them to have the newest in taking care of their customers’ orders. That included the most current form of catalog.
The catalog represented the major sales tool for the companies.
Before 1870 the style of the cover was simple, usually just what this catalog offered, company name, and location.
Seedsman James Vick (1818-1882) sent out several yearly catalogs and a magazine from his business in Rochester, New York.
Vick’s first catalogs reflect the period of minimal art work on the cover. His 1866 cover, six years after he started the company, simply gave his name and the title of the catalog.
He was in step with how other major seed companies mailed the catalog, so this style of cover was common.
Within a few years, again to keep current, the look and size of the catalog, including the cover, would change .
Check out the Business History blog on the importance of nineteenth century seed and nursery catalogs to understand the development of marketing in America.